Ahhh!!! Ok, so I wasn’t able to get even one minute on my trip to check in last week. A week of out the door and ready by 6:15am and back at the hotel around 10pm back to back to back, was not something I was prepared for. Like I mentioned, in my post from forever ago I was out-of-town at a Human Resources (HR) conference with work for a good part of the week. It was great for both professional and personal growth, and I think the speakers that the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) conference brought in were so wonderful, so I thought I’d quickly share a re-cap of my trip and the speakers.
We arrived in Chicago early afternoon, so my boss and I checked into the Hotel Sofitel, then went to the conference center to check in at registration. If you have a bit of a larger budget and are looking for a great place to stay, in Chicago (although it is my understanding that there are many other locations), I would highly recommend staying at the Sofitel! The staff is so friendly and the luxury hotel was definitely one I enjoyed! After checking in at registration, we hopped in line for the general seating area for the first speaker of the conference, Hillary Rodham Clinton. No matter your political stance (we won’t get into that here 🙂 ) she had a wonderful message and was very engaging.
Later that evening, I had plans to meet up with my friend Cheryl who lives there and have some dinner. I haven’t seen her in a while, so it was great to see her! We picked up right where we left off, one of the reasons I love her! 🙂
I was trying not to laugh in the photo, because they were just so friendly it caught me off guard…Cheryl is a natural Chicagoan, I guess! Then, we asked them to take one of just us, still not my favorite, but it works! 🙂
Monday morning came bright and early and the conference had Blake Mycoskie lined up for the speaker of the day. If you aren’t familiar with the name, neither was I. However, I was well aware of TOM Shoes, and he is the founder of the company and its mission. He was so passionate and inspirational! He has created this awesome company and given back 10 million shoes to those in need in only 7 years! Simply amazing and so commendable. He wrote his first book, recently, and I hope to pick it up, soon! (Sorry no photos of him speaking 😦 ). The rest of the day was great and my boss and I even were able to grab a nice dinner at McCormick and Schmidt’s, an awesome seafood restaurant!
Cheese stuffed shrimp wrapped in bacon gives you….Shrimp Kisses!
A light & refreshing salad.
More stuffed shrimp, cheddar mash, and veggies!
Tuesday morning, we enjoyed a speech from Daniel Pink. He was great to listen to and pick up some tips from, whether you are in HR or any other profession. I am looking forward to getting into both of his books to learn more! My boss and I were able to get about an hour to walk around the expo visiting some booths and looking into some different companies that could help us be more efficient. In the process, we ran into the company that makes the NCAA Championship trophies. Since Michigan was in the championship game, and I attended, we had to take a photo with it!
Tuesday evening, my boss and I went on a Chicago River and Lake Tour. The first 30 minutes were great, but then a storm came in so we spent the last hour underneath the boat and looking at the city through windows. Oh well, I still got some pretty great shots, and am excited to go back soon and finish the tour. 😉
Wednesday was our last day and had the privilege of hearing Captain Mark Kelly speak listening to a question and answer session with him and Gabby Giffords. I was a blubbering idiot during this session, it was just heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time! Gabby’s speech and motor skills are still very minimal and she has to go to therapy daily. It is interesting, though, because her comprehension is still completely there. It is simply amazing that she was able to survive and still live a life, even though it is now a different one. The amount of bravery and courage Gabby Giffords had and has, and the patience and love that Mark Kelly has and continues to show is just unreal. I am also interested in reading the book they wrote together! As you can see, my book list grew by a ten fold in a matter of days!
Lastly, us HR nerds know how to party, so they brought us Kelly Clarkson! We had sweet seats and I got some great photos to share with all of you! Oh man, she killed it and is awesome in concert! You HAVE to go buy tickets ASAP since she is currently touring! 🙂
Thanks for letting me share my trip with you, and I am so happy to be back and sharing this MIMM with everyone! My trip was just Marvelous! Thank you Katie from Healthy Diva Eats for the party!!